Monday, April 30, 2012

Would You Like to Help?

In less than 6 weeks I will be taking off to Uganda again.  For anyone new to my blog, this will be my fourth year going into the slums and villages of Uganda to teach women to sew.  I am excited about the new opportunities God will give me this year to encourage these incredibly strong women.  Several of you have asked, "How can I help?"

  1. Pray for me and my team.  Conditions are going to be, well, uh, shall I say "challenging" this year.  We are staying where there is no plumbing, no running water, and no electricity.  (I can go without electricity, but I really like a toilet!)  Pray that we would have good health and good attitudes.
  2. Pray for the women we will be working with.  There is, of course, the language barrier which makes teaching challenging.  Pray for their health and willing hearts.  Their circumstances are beyond most of our realms of imagination.
  3. Financial Support.  Our trip will cost close to $3000.  Each.  My 25 year old son is going with us this year to give medical and physical therapy support.  He will also be helping with any kind of manual labor that needs to be done, and there is always plenty of that!  Since he is a starving college student, we will be covering his expenses as well.  We have raised part of our support, but are not even half way there yet.  Last year many sewing supporters gifted me with financial support in increments from $5.00 up to several hundred dollars.  Please consider sending a gift.  Every little bit helps and adds up fast.  Donations can be made in several ways.
    1. Pay pal - probably the easiest.  My email address is nwinning at gmail dot com.  Donations can be sent directly to this email address through paypal.
    2. Directly to International Messengers.  If you would like a tax deductible receipt, make your check to International Messengers and include a note that the donation is designated for Nancy Winningham (or Nick Sanchez, my son)
    3. Mail a check to me.  Many expenses are incurred after we arrive.  Purchases like fabric, machines, and supplies are much cheaper there, but we pay cash, so the money sent to IM does not cover this.  (It does cover air fare and camp costs though)
  4. Would you like to go?  You might be praying about whether or not this is something that God would want you to do in the future.  I plan on doing this for many more years, so let me know if you are interested in learning more.
I really appreciate the support, prayers, and encouragement.  It is almost like we are all going together.  Last year the women I worked with were so amazed at how so many people would come together to help me get there to be with them.  They were just in awe and very thankful.  They are so thankful to know that anyone thinks about them or even knows they exist.  It's pretty amazing.

This is our team. My son, Nick on the right.  (Kind of an old picture, but I don't have any others right now that I can find!)

Below, Karen, Bea, and me.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Reversible Skirt

I am getting ready to go to Uganda and wanted to try making a reversible skirt.  I figured I would use two sheer fabrics that would be light weight, but solid enough that they could act as a lining for each other.  I had this border print fabric in my stash that I got in Mazatlan a number of years ago and figured it would be perfect.  So, I made a trip over to JoAnns to look for something to go with it.  My daughter picked out the pink fabric, so I went with it.

I've made the CJ A-line skirt before, so I wanted to use that pattern.  Since I'd be cutting the fabric on the crossgrain in order to utilize the border, I had to think about the sizing.  I checked the little chart that comes with all the CJ patterns.  It showed that I would need to make a 14 in order to have enough circumference around the hips, so that's what I cut.  (Well, I had already cut the pattern a smaller size, so I just guestimated the added seam allowance.)

Since both fabrics are sheer, I used French seams on both.  I should have trimmed the seam allowances better on the pink fabric, because I do have some fringy poke throughs.  The blue turned out fine though.    I sewed each skirt separately, then joined them right sides together at the waist.  I then treated the two fabrics as one and made a casing at the waist for the elastic.  I thought about just using the two fabrics as each side of the casing, but the fabric was too sheer and you could see the elastic.  I wanted the border fabric to peek through at the bottom of the other skirt, so I made the pink skirt 4" shorter.  I used a rolled hem (serged) on the blue fabric since both sides would show.  I used a regular narrow hem on the pink fabric.

I think this skirt will be great for my trip since I will be able to get double the mileage out of it.  The fabrics are polyester, so they will wash easily and dry without wrinkles.  Poly is usually hot and makes me sweat, but I've found that the sheers are more breathable, and since this is a fuller skirt, I think it will be fine (even though it's pretty hot in Uganda.)

Now I need to make some tops to go with the skirts!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Eggs and Dresses

Well, my Easter dress did not get finished, but little Miss Emma's did! I used the same pattern as for her last dress (M5791), but omitted the hem band and sleeves. I also left off the tie in the back. Although I love the look of the tie, I can't imagine that it is very comfortable to have that knot in the middle of your back when your sitting in a car seat or booster chair. Instead, this one has a purple ribbon for trim, and that's it. Grace picked out the fabric, and she loved the dress. I think Emma loved it too since she grabbed it and played with it a lot. Of course, she Christened the dress by spitting up all over it, but that's what babies do!

This was little Emma's first trip to church, and she had to make a big impression by fussing and crying the whole time she was there. Oh well.
All in all, it was a great day, albeit that last day of my vacation and sewing time.

Here's some more info on Emma's dress. The dress is lined, and this time I lined the whole dress and not just the bodice. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the length of the lining and cut it too short. I ended up making a narrower hem and adding lace to the lining to help lengthen it, but I still wish it would have been about another inch longer.

For the leg and waist elastic, I did it differently this time. Instead of using seam binding and encasing the elastic, I served it to the leg and waist edge, turned it under, and stitched. This saved quite a bit of time on the panties.

Here she is showing off her panties!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A dress for spring

I'm not normally a fan of polyester dress fabrics, but I really liked this poly charmeuse and knew it would be perfect for this dress. The pattern is McCalls 6277 I decided to go with the V neck and the sleeveless version for my first attempt. The dress is completely lined and super comfortable. One thing I'm going to change (OK, two) is the armhole. I need to make the front narrower above the bust so that the armhole is not cutting into my arm. I also need to lower the bust point about 1" I've made adjustments on the pattern, so we'll see when I make the next version. Since I really don't know pattern drafting, I'm never quite sure when it comes to making this type of adjustment.
This dress has a side zipper and I liked the way it was put in. It was super easy and I like it better than having one at the back. The top of the zipper always bugs me at my neck, whether I use an invisible zipper, use a hook and eye, or not. After I wear this dress for a day, then I'll see if it bugs my arm hahaha!
Only a few days of vacation left and lots of sewing projects. I'm going to the outlet center tomorrow, so there will be no sewing since that is an all day trip. I'm hoping to make another dress out of this pattern for Easter, and Emma's Easter dress by Friday. If I get those done, then I have lot's of other projects I want to get to.